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Bellevue preparing for extreme winter weather

The Utilities Department reported to the Bellevue City Council on Nov. 5 that although forecasts predict a wet, cold winter, staff is prepared to respond to rain, wind and snow storms.

In addition to minimizing flooding risks and clearing streets of snow and ice, employees will work to keep water and wastewater systems operating during extreme weather. The city is also prepared to open shelters at several facilities should residents lose power.

Bellevue faces unique challenges during snow and ice storms, with some of the steepest streets in the region and the greatest elevation range — from lake level to over 1,400 feet.

To meet these challenges, the city has at the ready more than 50 Utilities workers trained to operate plows, 14 snow plows and two anti-icing trucks to clear city roadways. The city has three additional plows and operators available to keep critical facilities such as fire stations and hospital emergency rooms accessible.

The public is asked to do their part in getting ready for a potentially severe winter by following these preparedness tips:

Call 911 for life threatening emergencies.

Call Utilities at 425-452-7840 to report flooding, hazardous roads, water main breaks and sewer overflows.

Monitor weather updates and find resources at here. Residents can sign up to receive e-mails when new information is posted on that page.

Clear storm drains of leaves and debris to help prevent flooding.

Avoid downed power lines and do not drive through standing or flowing water.

Treat dark intersections as four-way stops.

During snow storms, be familiar with snow routes, follow detours and obey road closures.

Slow down and give snow plow operators room to work.

Use traction tires or chains.

Do not park in intersections or block streets.

Clear sidewalks on your property of snow and ice.

Be prepared to be on your own for three to four days.

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